The Buffalo Bills defeated the Denver Broncos at New Era Field yesterday 26 to 16 keeping the Bills hopes of going 15-1 alive. It was a back and forth game which included six lead changes. It felt like one of those awkward situations where two cars pull up to an intersection with stop signs and each is waving the other to go first. Then each car starts to inch out a little bit only to jam on the breaks as they notice the other car moving. Then they each move a little bit, then jam on the breaks, go a little bit, then jam on the brakes, until the Bills ultimately decided to plow through the intersection in the fourth quarter for the victory.
The first quarter felt like a fifth quarter from last week's game. Each teams offense was sputtering and there was not a single play in the red zone. The closest either team got was Denver at Buffalo's 21 yard line but they could not get a 1st down so they kicked a field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Bills offense finally started clicking a bit in the second quarter. Tyrod Taylor completed a 28 yard pass over the middle to Jordan Matthews who high stepped his way out of bounds for a 28 yard gain. Apparently, the Bills offense has been so bad, they now high step on long gains, not just touchdowns. Taylor would complete another 28 yard pass to Kaelin Clay on the same drive before closing it out with a "trick pass" that bounced off Zay Jones hands before being caught by Andre Holmes for a touchdown and a 7 to 3 lead.
On the next drive the Broncos had a huge 32 yard run by C.J. Anderson capped off with a 15 yard penalty by Micah Hyde for pushing him while out of bounds. On the next play, Jerry Hughes got a roughing the passer penalty and the Bills were now officially doing a tribute to Rex Ryan's defense with these back to back costly penalties. Jamaal Charles finished the drive with a 12 yard touchdown run and Denver was up 10 to 7 in a drive that took just one minute and fifteen seconds off the clock.
The teams would exchange field goals making the score 13 - 10 in favor of Denver with 42 seconds left in the half. The Bills got a good kick return from Brandon Tate, and followed it up with a 15 yard pass to LeSean McCoy. Rather than calling one of their two timeouts, they let about 15 seconds tick off the clock, just as Sean McDermott did at the end of the game last week. When asked why after the game he responded "NFL games are way, way too long! 60 minutes? That's insane! I think 59 minutes and 45 seconds is the sweet spot for games. Anything else and we are putting the players at risk." Despite the coaches strange views, the Bills were able to nail a 55 yard field goal to close the half tied 13 to 13.
1 Shot of Captain Morgan
0 Noise complaints for wife
0 Noise complaints from neighbors
In the second half, Denver was continuing to find some big plays running up the middle and it was clear the Bills were missing Marcell Dareus. Denver's drive would ultimately stall when they got called for their fourth false start penalty of the game but they would still notch a field goal to take a 16 to 13 lead.
The Bills offense finally would come to life with a quick drive for a score. Tyrod Taylor completed a 38 yard pass to Nick O'Leary's bare hands and Shady did a little toe tapping on the next play for 7 yards. The following play, Taylor lobbed a ball up in the air that hung for so long to Jordan Matthews that it reminded me of the last pitch in Rookie of the Year, when Henry Rowengartner throws a lob underhand for a strikeout because he lost his fastball. On the next play, Taylor did the unthinkable and completed a touchdown pass, to Charles Clay, over the middle to give the Bills a 20 to 16 lead.
After that, E.J. Gaines would pick off Trevor Siemian around the Denver 30 yard line. After a Richie Incognito holding and a sack by the Broncos, the Bills knocked themselves out of field goal range in only the "Billsiest" of ways.
Denver was growing desperate at the end of the third quarter. On 4th and 2 from their own 31 they went for it with a fake punt direct snap but were stuffed by the Bills. I let out an audible "F yea!" after the play, racking up my first neighbor complaint of the season. It was well worth it. The Bills would convert the turnover on downs by the Broncos into a field goal extending their lead to 23 to 16 early in the fourth quarter.
Later in the game, Tre'Davious White would get his first career interception and the Bills would hit their last field goal of the day for a final score of 26 to 16. With the Bills win, both of these teams are now 2-1 with plenty of season ahead of them. Buffalo kept their hopes of going 15-1 alive for another week.
1 shot of Captain Morgan
0 Noise complaints from wife
1 Noise complaint from neighbors